There is so much to do here at Indiana University. You can lead a diversified and wonderful life while you attend the Indiana University School of Optometry. Take the time to explore what is available to you.
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- About IU
Life in Bloomington
Bloomington is a small city of about 80,000 with cultural resources and opportunities that rival cities many times its size. Come see for yourself why Travel & Leisure magazine says, “Bloomington has the soul of a big city, but the heart of a much smaller town.”
You will find coffeehouses, live music, festivals, bookstores, open-air markets, historic architecture, cafés, eclectic restaurants, boutiques, lakes, parks, museums , theatres, an excellent county school system, and top private schools. Essentially, Bloomington offers all the activities and conveniences of a major metropolitan area— ;including excellent public transportation—with the affordable housing and safety of a small town.
Visit Bloomington will help you find things you can’t see or do anywhere else, such as the country’s only Tibetan Cultural Center and the state’s oldest and largest winery. The City of Bloomington Entertainment and Arts District website provides all kinds of information on where to eat, shop, and spend time in the revitalized downtown area.
Bloomington is an arts and culture mecca in the Midwest. It hosts world-class concerts, Broadway musicals, and community-wide events such as a mini marathon, a weekly farmer’s market, and more than 30 festivals (including Taste of Bloomington and the Lotus World Music and Arts Festival). World-famous speakers frequently visit our campus, from Indiana Law alumnus Michael Uslan (producer of the Batman films franchise) to Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban (also an IU alumnus). The IU Jacobs School of Music offers world-class opera, ballet, and musical performances throughout the year, plus amazing precollege programs for kids.
But if you sometimes require a big city, Bloomington is just one hour’s drive from Indianapolis and the Indianapolis International Airport, two hours to Louisville, three to Cincinnati, and four to Chicago and St. Louis.
The great outdoors Is just minutes away
Home to the state’s largest inland lake, only national forest, and a variety of city and county parks, Bloomington offers dozens of opportunities for outdoor excursions, from a picnic to a true natural adventure. Click below to find out more about the natural beauty of Bloomington and the many ways to enjoy it.
- Lake Monroe—the state’s largest inland lake, with more than 10,000 acres of water for boating, fishing, and skiing.
- Hoosier National Forest—200,000 acres across nine counties with 230 miles of hiking, horseback, and mountain biking trails.
- Brown County State Park—Indiana’s largest state park welcomes five million visitors every year.
- McCormick’s Creek State Park—Hiking, horseback riding, fishing, camping, and picnicking just minutes from Bloomington.
- Cedar Bluffs Nature Preserve—75-foot high bluffs with gnarled red cedars—a stunning display of species adaptation.
- Beanblossom Bottoms Nature Preserve—570 acres of hardwood forested wetland and more than 15 endangered plant and animal species.
- Griffy Lake Nature Preserve—a 1,200-acre preserve just minutes from downtown.
- Bloomington Bicycle Club—promotes cycling through beautiful southern Indiana.